College football players are students first and athletes second. When we hear that, we often laugh at the notion that school matters to these players.
It mattered to Vince Young, and he is now a proud graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Even after winning a national title and becoming the third overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft, graduating ranks No. 1 among his achievements.
In a recent interview with Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com, Young said “This will rank No. 1 because it is what I came to school for. I came here to get an education, and to win a national championship. And now, I get to put that smile on my mom's face.”
He earned his degree in Youth and Community Studies.
Young came to Texas in 2002 as a 5-star ranked as the No. 1 player in the country by Rivals. His impact was felt by his redshirt freshman year when he shared snaps with Chance Mock.
The following season he was the starter.
During his three seasons as the starter, Young guided the Longhorns to 30-2 record and the 2005 national championship.
He was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in 2006 spending six seasons in the league. He has played for Tennessee and Philadelphia, and was on the Buffalo roster during 2012.
Almost immediately after he was drafted, Young started impacting the Houston community by forming the VY Foundation in 2006. The non-profit’s mission is “to provide empowerment, resources and leadership opportunities to equip our next generation of leaders, from all walks of life to believe, to achieve and to succeed.”
He also has an ownership stake in the Vince Young Steakhouse.
For all the bad press that he received over the years, Young has accomplished a lot. He has put a lasting impact on the Austin and Houston communities, and his new degree will help drive that impact further.
The NFL free-agent is still working out with the hope that an NFL team will come calling, but even if the league doesn’t do so, there is a bright future ahead. His last opportunity came with Buffalo in 2012.
His masterful win over USC in the 2006 BCS title game will always be remembered by college football fans, but his graduation has been the most impressive accomplishment to date.